JHS athletes to collect items for tornado victims

Published 4:16 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

Jemison softball coach Leighsa Robinson may have found the perfect team-building exercise—even if it’s not the one she had in mind at first.

The JHS softball team planned a trip to watch the sixth-ranked University of Alabama softball team host Kentucky, but then Wednesday’s storms ravaged Tuscaloosa, forcing the cancellation of the game and also the Jemison team’s trip.

Instead, the Panthers decided to help tornado victims.

“It was going to be a team thing, and when they canceled it, I thought…,” Coach Leighsa Robinson said. “I want them to understand life isn’t always about them. It’s about helping people in need. If I can teach them that, then I’m doing my job.”

The team, along with some JHS volleyball players, will collect supplies needed by victims from 11-11:30 a.m. Sunday at the school softball field and then take the supplies to Tuscaloosa.

Robinson encouraged those who want to help to bring bottled water, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, baby formula, flashlights, batteries, trash bags, toiletries, napkins, plates, plastic utensils, cat food, dog food, cat litter, food that does not need to be heated such as crackers, charcoal, grills, new packs of undergarments (for men, women and children), flip flops, new packs of socks, candles and lighters.

“I wish that we had so much stuff that we have problems taking it over,” Robinson said. “Somehow, some way, we’ll get it over there.”

The Panthers have connections with the Tuscaloosa area.

UA volleyball coach Judy Green (who has volunteered for several years to help with a summer camp at JHS) is without power and water, Robinson said, and Tuscaloosa-Central volleyball coach Hanika Turner has been unable to contact all her players.

“She just said for everybody to keep them in their thoughts and prayers,” Robinson said.